Elon Musk Named Time Person Of The Year



Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and the richest person in history, was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021 on Monday, capping a year of accomplishments and controversies for the billionaire.

Key Facts

This year SpaceX completed the first all-civilian mission to space and was selected by NASA to build a new lunar lander, while Tesla’s market cap reached over $1 trillion after a deal with Hertz, making Musk the richest person ever.

The magazine did not release a shortlist of contenders for the Person of the Year position, unlike in years past.

Last year the magazine co-named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the title.

Key Background

Musk is a divisive figure. While his Time profile makes clear he is widely considered a visionary, it also mentions that his companies have faced allegations of racism and sexual harassment and been accused of poor working conditions, as well as extensive fines by regulators. As CNN pointed out, Time’s Person of the Year is “not necessarily considered an honor, since the selection could have wielded negative influence.” Past title holders include everyone from Greta Thunberg and Pope Francis to Vladimir Putin and even Adolf Hitler.

Big Number

$265.4 billion. That’s Musk’s net worth as of Monday, according to Forbes.

Crucial Quote

The Time Person of the Year profile describes Musk a number of ways, including: “This is the man who aspires to save our planet and get us a new one to inhabit: clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, cad; a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan, the brooding, blue-skinned man-god who invents electric cars and moves to Mars.”

Further Reading

Elon Musk: Person of the Year 2021” (Time)

Why TIME Chose Elon Musk as the 2021 Person of the Year (Time)

Time Person of the Year: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, named most influential of 2021” (CNN)

Time 2021 Person of the Year: Elon Musk” (Today)

Elon Musk, Nearing $300 Billion Fortune, Is The Richest Person In History” (Forbes)

Complete list of every TIME Person of the Year for the last 25+ years, from Trump to Putin to Obama” (CBS News)